5 Reasons You Should (Or Shouldn’t) Cross A School Off Your List

When you’re checking out school websites or touring schools, its easy to get distracted by seemingly important issues and quickly decide a school isn’t for you. Or, you may be willing to ignore an issue that should be a red flag.

Map of LA Private Schools

Here are 5 reasons you should (or shouldn’t) cross a school off your list.

1. Don’t reject the school if the parent leading the tour is rude or not well informed about the school’s curriculum or which math program the is used. This happens and its up to you to excuse this one parent if you like the school. I’m not saying don’t make a mental note of it, but he/she is only one out of many parents at the school. Leading tours is a coveted volunteer gig and there are many reasons why parents are selected for this job. You can always attend another tour and hopefully it will offer different tour guide. Disappointing? Definitely. Dealbreaker? No.


2. Don’t reject the school if the school’s website is outdated or disappointing. Yes, we assume a private school in L.A. should have a great looking, informative website, as well as a Facebook Page and even a Twitter account. Well, that’s not always true. Don’t cross a school off your list just because its website falls short of expectations. There are many reasons for this and as the saying goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” You might be surprised to learn that some schools are behind the technology curve by a few years. Maybe you can be the volunteer who changes that!


3. Do reject the school if the distance will make you crazy. For kindergarten, if a school is too far from your house, delete it from your list. What is “too far?” This is different for every family, but with young kids a long drive too and from school can be difficult on everyone. Carpools are unpredictable with little ones and its best to assume you’ll be doing a lot of the driving. Try driving to and from the school during morning and afternoon on a weekday.


4. Do reject the school if you are on a tour and you don’t like the way a teacher is speaking to the kids, that’s a red flag. If a teacher seems disinterested or is snappish with the kids, this could end up being your child’s teacher. Of course, there are different teaching styles and educational philosophies, and some schools are stricter than others. But, if you hear or see something that doesn’t sit well with you, it might be because it’s the wrong type of school for your family.


5. Don’t reject the school because you dislike the behavior of families on the tour. Obnoxious questions and over-the-top-bragging are overheard on too many tours to let it influence your decision about a school. Remember, these are parents who are touring, but that doesn’t mean their child will be attending the school.



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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at csimon2007@gmail.com

3 thoughts to “5 Reasons You Should (Or Shouldn’t) Cross A School Off Your List”

  1. I TOTALLY agree with the point about not rejecting schools with sub-par websites. Some of these school’s admissions/development departments just aren’t ‘with the times.’ They have great programs, but they don’t have the right kind of marketing.

    1. Matt, you’re so right! The website should be a great resource, but if it’s not, people should look further if they think they might like the school. It is all about marketing. -Christina

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